Séance Records is pleased to announce the release of Mascharat’s debut album on September 15th, a brilliant work of atmospheric Renaissance Black Metal from Milan, Italy inspired by ancient tradition and Venetian carnival. This symphonic conspiracy of darkness has been crafted by anonymous shadows. Hidden behind the Bauta they reveal a midnight revel of secrets, subversion and clandestine ritual as the mask emancipates man to follow the true path of occulta philosophia. As a whole work the album is an impressive narration which forms a conceptual allegorical tale.
Formed in 2010 Mascharat traces their name to the origin of the Italian term “maschera” (mask in English). Conceptually the band is inspired by the carnival's masks and customs, specifically their original meaning in relation to the Venetian Carnival tradition. The band explains, “Masks are not just a mere ornamental object but an instrument that can set a man free by allowing him to emancipate himself (even just for a short while) from the rules of society and religion and throughout history the Carnival was a time which every kind of convention could be invalidated, mocked or subverted”.
After producing a four track demo in 2014 Mascharat conspired to elaborate upon this original work and conceive their debut self titled album, 'Mascharat'. Thus creating nine tracks ascribable to Black Metal in its classic form, abundant with pure 90s atmosphere and elements of rich symphonic darkness. This self titled album is a remarkable work of Renaissance Black Metal which inspires visual imagery of the gothic and the grotesque without compromising the raw energy of the Black Metal genre. The album is boldly melodic in the vein of traditional Scandinavian Black Metal yet laden with the darkly macabre atmosphere and uniquely passionate characteristics of the Italian style. Mascharat cites musical influences from classic Black Metal to classical and renaissance music, anything that inspires the band to express an atmosphere inspired by the ancient traditions of Venetian Carnival and its philosophical interpretation.
Within the album Mascharat's lyrics are provided in the original Italian as well as English translations so that the listener may become immersed in this deeply conceptual work of occult philosophy.The album has been conceived as a kind of esoteric narration, which can be read in several different ways. And the cover art by Gozer designs has also been rendered in traditional woodcut style to carefully illustrate key elements of Mascharat’s tale.
The songs on 'Mascharat' tell an allegorical story that may be split into two parts. The first act (‘Bauta’, ‘Médecin de peste’ and ‘Mora’) entails the meeting between a Man and the three Masks of Venetian tradition. They show him how his philosophical and religious certainties (to which we refer mainly by means of Christian dogmas and values) are illusory in the research of the Truth. The second act (‘Simulacri “Simulacrum”’, ‘Iniziazione “Initiation”’ and ‘Rito “Rite”’) tell of the man’s attempt to redeem himself as he tries to find the Truth through an initiation rite that the Masks offer to him. At the end of the rite the Man finds himself estranged from Christianity and all previous convictions, he is forced to repudiate himself. Yet he is not allowed to obtain the desired Knowledge, it has been denied. He discovers therefore that he has been cheated and that the initiation rite was none other than a cruel mockery, plotted by the Masks.
And so concludes Mascharat’s tale of the three masks. When the masquerade is over and the shadows are swept away we await again the moment when we may revel behind the mask. Beneath the elegant veil and cloak a beautiful visage, an anonymous spirit freed from the constraints of the world to seek the true path of emancipation. The mask is the muse and Mascharat are the men behind the masks, musicians and bards of esoteric allegory. Mysterious troubadours, elusive yet emboldened with the spirit of the Renaissance reborn in the modern world to explore ancient tradition, esoteric illumination and the age old enigma of occulta philosophia. The culmination of their conspiracy being the creation of the album, 'Mascharat', a work which forges the band's own unique concept of Renaissance Black Metal.